Book adaptations – sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re disasters you wish you could permanently erase from your memory. Still, we live in hope that our favourite books will not only make it to the big or the small screen one day but that they’ll be something worthy of the amazing novel they’re created from. While 2021 certainly featured some great ones, 2022 has some promising movies and TV shows on the way. Here are nine of the adaptations currently expected to release this year that I’m most looking forward to seeing:
The Time Traveler’s Wife (TV Limited series, HBO)
Audrey Niffenegger’s Sci-fi romance, The Time Traveler’s Wife, has been one of my favourite books ever since I was in high school. Then again, I haven’t re-read it for years now so here’s hoping that’s still the case. It follows a man named Henry who has a condition called Chrono-Displacement Disorder which causes him to spontaneously time travel to moments within his own timeline – past and future. Because of this, he meets, falls in love with, and eventually marries an artist named Clare. The book details their lives and the impact Henry’s condition has on them. I found the 2009 film somewhat of a letdown so I’m really looking forward to seeing what HBO is able to do with a six-episode limited series in the hands of Steven Moffat, especially since my favourite Doctor Who episode was not only written by him but inspired by this exact novel (It’s The Girl in the Fireplace, in case you were wondering). The series will star Theo James and Rose Leslie, which I’m not sure how I feel about, but I’m keeping an open mind. It’s due to release sometime in the Northern Hemisphere’s Spring.
Conversations with Friends (TV Limited Series, BBC 3/Hulu)
I think you’re all aware just how much I adore Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney so when I say this is the adaptation I’m most excited for on this list, you won’t be surprised. This book is another one of my favourite standalones and it’s about two friends/exes, Frances and Bobby, who meet a writer named Melissa after one of their spoken poetry shows and start to spend time with her and her quiet, actor husband, Nick. Soon after, Frances begins an affair with Nick which changes her perspective on a lot of things. I absolutely adored the adaptation of Rooney’s second novel, Normal People, and many of the people who were involved in that production have returned to work on CWF so I’m really hopeful the series will be another winner. It’s due to release in the US in May and, like Normal People, will consist of 12 episodes of approx. 30 mins each.
Daisy Jones and the Six (TV Limited Series, Amazon)
I’ve been hearing bits and pieces about this adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s popular 2019 novel for a while now (ever since Reese Witherspoon’s production company bought the rights), but it seems as though the TV series will finally be released this year. The book is a fictionalised oral history account of the rise and split of a popular band in the 1970s and takes some inspiration from Fleetwood Mac. Production was massively delayed due to Covid but they were finally able to start shooting in September last year, which is exciting! The casting looks super solid too – Riley Keogh will play Daisy and Sam Claflin has been cast as Billy, the band’s lead guitarist, writer and singer. I’m interested to see how the music from the book gets translated into the series and the way the documentary-style storytelling will be approached. I know a lot of people are looking forward to this one so hopefully they aren’t disappointed!
Blonde (Film, Netflix)
I confess, I’ve had this brick-sized book by Joyce Carol Oates sitting on my desk TBR pile for many months now but I’m determined to read it before the adaptation comes out. There’s been a lot of talk about this movie in recent weeks due to the announcement of its US NC-17 rating but I’m super intrigued to see how the movie turns out. It’s a fictionalised and highly edited account of the life of Marilyn Monroe and, at a times, a very dark, violent and ugly one. Then again, Marilyn’s life wasn’t exactly sunshine and daisies. I have no idea if this is going to be something I enjoy, the book or the movie, but there’s just something about Marilyn that draws me in. Ana de Armas will be playing Marilyn and I’ve liked what I’ve seen from her in the past. I’ve heard there were some challenges in navigating her Cuban accent but I really hope she nails the role.
House of the Dragon (TV Series, HBO)
Even after the nonsense that was season 8 of Game of Thrones, I’m still looking forward to this adaptation of Martin’s Fire & Blood. Am I going in with measured expectations? That would be a yes, but we’ll see how things go. It could be awesome, it could be the biggest flop ever. Who knows? This series is set 300 years before the original and deals with the lead-up to the Dance of Dragons – a civil war within the Targaryen house that killed many dragons and severely weakened the Targaryens, contributing to their eventual downfall. I have no idea how much money HBO is throwing at this, it must be a lot considering how many dragons will have to be involved and the scale of the conflicts, so here’s hoping it looks pretty spectacular.
Bridgerton, Season 2 (TV Series, Netflix)
As if this wasn’t going to be included. This is another case of an adaptation where I have the book but just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet (I’m hesitant after my issues with the first book). Gotta love a good guilty pleasure watch. But yay for a diverse heroine and good, old-fashioned enemies-to-lovers tale. The story revolves around Anthony finally deciding to get married and setting his sights on a woman named Edwina. However, her older sister Kate has heard all about Anthony’s rakish ways from Lady Whistledown and wants to keep Edwina as far away from him as possible. But then oopsie, they fall for each other instead. I wasn’t a big fan of Anthony in the first season/book – he’s somewhat of a pratt so fingers crossed this season and Kate can redeem him. Season 2 will release on March 25 and you can bet I’ll be bingeing it.
Where the Crawdads Sing (Film, Netflix)
Another adaptation, another book I haven’t read. I’ve been wanting to read Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing for a few years now, probably because it was all people could talk about for a while, but never got around to it. Now the movie is coming out in June and I’m feeling the time crunch. This is another one of the projects being produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine company and I’m excited that they’ve cast Daisy Edgar Jones in the lead role because I loved her in Normal People. I’m also expecting some beautiful scenery after what I’ve heard of the environments in the book. The novel is about a girl named Kya who lives in the wilderness as she was abandoned by her family when she was young. Treated as a social outcast, she becomes the prime suspect in a murder when a popular boy from town is found dead.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (TV Series, Amazon)
This is the 2022 adaptation I’m most conflicted about. As some of you may know, I’m not a big fan of Tolkien’s books but I’m completely nuts for Peter Jackson’s film adaptations. So, my dilemma is that while I’m intrigued, I’m still very unsure about how good it will be. Amazon has thrown absolutely enormous sums of money at this first season – legit, $465M was spent – meaning at the very least I have high hopes for the production quality. The story itself is based on Tolkien’s collection of appendices rather than an actual novel, which suggests there will be a lot of jigsaw puzzling and creative license going on to form the narrative. It seems to be dealing with the second age, covering Sauron’s rise and the forging of the Rings of Power. This could prove to be super interesting but I guess we’ll have to wait until September to find out.
Which book adaptations coming out in 2022 are you most excited to see?